Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military affiliations and his royal patronages, which have been returned to his mother, Queen Elizabeth, a statement from the British royal family announced on Wednesday.
Noting that this has been done with “the Queen’s approval and agreement,” the statement adds that Andrew will continue to not undertake any public duties and will defend himself in Virginia Giuffre’s case as a private citizen.
According to a BBC report, Andrew has also lost the right to use the title His Royal Highness in any official capacity.
The step comes after a US court rejected Andrew’s plea to dismiss Jeffrey Epstein-accuser Giuffre’s lawsuit against him. He will thus have to face the civil suit for allegedly sexually abusing Giuffre when she was a minor.
In her lawsuit, filed in 2021, Giuffre said Andrew had forced her to have sexual intercourse with him at the London home of Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who is also named in the suit. Maxwell was recently convicted by a New York court for trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls.
Giuffre has sued Andrew under the Child Victims Act, a New York state law that allows victims of child sexual abuse to hold their abusers accountable, even if the abuse occurred decades earlier. She has said that she was a victim of Epstein’s sex-trafficking and abuse from the age of 16.
Andrew had attempted to have the suit dismissed based on a 2009 agreement between Giuffre and Epstein that showed that the latter had paid Giuffre $500,000 to settle a different lawsuit of sexual abuse and sex-trafficking. While Andrew was of the view that this settlement also guaranteed him immunity from any liability, the New York court ruled that Andrew’s immunity under the settlement was ambiguous and therefore, dismissal of Giuffre’s lawsuit on those grounds was not justified.